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Board and Leadership

Why Board EQ is More Important than IQ

Why Board EQ is More Important than IQ

Boardrooms today represent an ever-increasing combination of different personalities and backgrounds. This ongoing meshing generates the need for greater awareness and engagement when making high-level decisions about a company’s future. As a result, the concept of emotional intelligence (EQ) is becoming more important than ever.

To properly manage intense discussions, EQ may even take a more prominent role than the traditionally emphasized intelligence quotient (IQ) among board members. Here is a look at what EQ involves, how it relates to IQ and the vital role it plays in boardrooms.

An overview of EQ. According to Harvard theorist Howard Gardner, EQ is the level of one’s ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them. In a board setting, a high EQ among members allows them to be aware of their own emotions, as well as the mental states of others. Based on the understanding of these sentiments, directors can properly approach and better manage situations.

How EQ relates to IQ. Tests to measure IQ focus on one’s ability to reason, capture knowledge, and process visual and spatial material. While a high IQ can offer certain contributions to a board, a member with strong EQ will be able to perceive and control emotions. This skillset can help a director adapt to new situations, learn from setbacks and collaborate with others to create a fresh approach to problem solving.

EQ and a company’s performance. A board with a healthy EQ will enable all members to feel that they can be themselves, contribute to conversations freely, and learn from each other to create new solutions and opportunities for your organization. This comfortable, home-like atmosphere can drive chemistry and lead to productive discussions. As board members grow more confident in their abilities to work through difficult situations, a company’s outlook for success significantly increases.

Ready to learn more about how EQ benefits your board and how to forge stronger relationships in the boardroom? Download our white paper, Engineering Higher EQ and Better Dynamics in the Boardroom.